How can I figure out if Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) will help my Fibromyalgia?

LDN Specialist Pharmacist Michelle Moser
Pharmacist, Michelle Moser

How can I figure out if Low Dose Naltrexone (LDN) will help my Fibromyalgia?

I tried taking Low Dose Naltrexone for fibromyalgia pain and we started very small dose and increased it then decreased it. It did not help. What can I figure out whether it would help me?

That is a very, very good question. So when we're dealing with fibromyalgia I have to say in the 10 plus years I've been using low dose or I've been compounding Low Dose Naltrexone fibromyalgia patients for me are the toughest and this is why. Rarely does someone have just fibromyalgia. Usually there is a reason for that that perhaps is not currently diagnosed. A lot of times there's other autoimmune diseases as well and so we really need to take a look at the whole scenario. 

A lot of times with fibromyalgia we might even start at 0 .1 milligram which is 100 micrograms. We might even start half that which is 50 micrograms or 0 .05 milligrams. We might use it once a day. We might use it twice a day, sometimes three or four times a day. It really depends on the individual. So again, Low Dose Naltrexone or  Very Low Dose Naltrexone may help you because perhaps the dose wasn't low enough. Perhaps the dose interval wasn't strong enough. So in other words were you taking it once or twice maybe even up to four times a day. 

The other issue with fibromyalgia pain is that sometimes we can reduce the pain by using other supportive medications like H1 and H2 antagonists. H1 antagonist is diphenhydramine which is Benadryl. H2 antagonist would be vomodidine or pepsin and then sometimes we need to use leukotrienes like monolucast. And the reason for that is because we have found that there are certain receptors especially in the gut, that can increase pain sensation, but also increase those chemicals that cause pain. And so if we can block those by using other medications, then Low Dose Naltrexone will work even better. 

So what I will say is that just because you tried it once doesn't mean you can't try it again. Sometimes the body will think, oh, you know, now we can get back to this. And I remember what that was like, so we're gonna act a little bit more appropriately this time. And you may find that starting at 0 .1 milligram in the morning, adding after a few days, adding 0 .1 in the evening. The doses don't have to be equal. They can be, but they don't have to be. And it's really about keeping a diary about how things are going. Still need to be very careful about the foods that you're eating because sometimes foods will actually trigger a reaction which can increase inflammation and then lead to more pain.